Sunday, March 11, 2012

Order up

I have never been worked in the restaurant industry, although I have for many years been a regular contributor to their wages. This evening when I was returning home from a hard-fought day in the retail wars, I happened by my local steakburger establishment to 'takhomasak', as they used to say. Now this is a fine establishment as are others I frequent, and standing at the counter as I waited for my take-out order, a thought occurred to me that had rattled around in my brain before.

Why on earth do restaurants give us a view of where the food is being cooked? Decades ago in my formative years, one of the jobs I had during college was at the service counter in a meat department. Even under the best of circumstances and with the best of intentions, accidents happen in the kitchen. I'm not here to say things intentionally go on a plate that shouldn't, what I'm proposing is that what happens in a kitchen, should stay out of sight.

When lettuce gets flung into a taco shell and half of it lands on the floor, I don't want to see that before I eat or take my food home. I'm not sure who thought the eating public actually wanted to see what went on behind the counter, but don't count me in as one of them. I would much prefer my McRestaurant have a wall that shields the kitchen from my sight. No matter how good the food is, the sight of greasy stainless steel in a heavily-used kitchen doesn't excite my taste buds.

It's one thing to see the flames from behind a half brick wall as your steak is seared to perfection, but I don't want to see half a tub of fries on the floor.

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